How to Use the Technologies
Windows Media Live Video Streaming Tutorial
Windows Media streaming video technology comprises Windows Media Encoder, a streaming server, and Windows Media Player. The broadcast client software Windows Media Encoder runs on most varieties of Windows operation system. It can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft Web site. You must own the appropriate server and workstation licenses for Windows.
If you do not have Windows Media Encoder on your computer, please download and install it now. It is Windows-based only.
Before you start streaming via Windows Media Encoder, make sure Windows Media Encoder is added to the Firewall exception. To do so, on a PC, go Start menu > Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Click the Exceptions tab > Check if Windows Media Encoder is in the list. If not, Click Add Program, find it, and add it. Click OK.
Please follow the following steps to achieve an optimized streaming.
Setting up Server
Without setting up Windows Media Streaming Server first, streaming via Windows Media is impossible. Here is the procedure to follow on a Server computer.
- Verify that the Streaming Server is installed on your Windows Server. If not, go into the Manage Your Server Wizard and select Add or Remove Role. This will also tell you what components are installed.
- Follow installation instructions as directed by the wizard, make certain that you have all appropriate Server CDs to complete the task.
- On the ‘Manage Your Server Wizard,’ choose ‘Manage This Streaming Server.’
- Add a new ‘Publishing Point’ – the icon at the bottom with a Server and a green Plus Sign.
- Give the ‘Publishing Point’ a name. It can be anything that is meaningful for your media. Let's call it LiveStream.
- Next, we need to create an asx file. asx stands for Advanced Stream Redirector. It is a type of XML metafile designed to store a list of Windows Media files to play. You can create the file with WinPad on a PC or TextEdit on a Mac. Let's call this asx file MyStreaming.asx. The body looks like this:
<asx version = "3.0"> <entry> <ref href ="mms://188.8.131.52:8080/LiveStream"/> <Title>My Streaming Test</Title> <Author>Clifford Marsiglio</Author> <Copyright>2007, The IUPUI Informatics Streaming Gang</Copyright> </entry> </asx> 184.108.40.206 is the IP address of the broadcasting PC. Save the file. I presume that you have set 8080 as the port.
- Use an FTP client to send the LiveStream.asx file to a Web server. Remember the URL of the file.
- You can use a webcam on your broadcasting PC to do live streaming. For higher quality streaming, use an external digital video camera. To do so, you need to connect the camera via a Firewire or USB cable. Turn on the camera and switch it to the Camera mode.
- Launch Windows Media Encoder on the broadcasting PC. Under New Session, select Broadcast a live event. Click OK. Choose the desired video device and audio device. Windows Media Encoder can utilize the computer's built-in microphone, USB audio devices, or Firewire audio, such as the microphone built into your camera. Click Next.
Setting up Streaming
- Choose Pull from the encoder. Click Next.
- Under Broadcast Connection, you don't need to change anything. Click Next.
- Under Encoding Options, pick two to three bit rates. Let's pick 340Kbps and 548Kbps. Click Next.
- If you wish to save a copy of the live streaming, check Archive a copy of the broadcast to file, browse to create a new file name under a folder of your choice. Otherwise, click Next to skip this step.
- Go through the rest of the optional meta data entries. If you don't wish to enter any, click Finish.
- Click the Start Encoding green button on top to start streaming. You should be able to see the video image both in the Input and Output windows.
To view the live streaming, viewers must have Windows Media Player already installed on his or her computer. The user needs to receive from you the address of the stream. There are two ways you can tell your viewers the address.
- The first is that you instruct the viewers to launch the Windows Media Player either on a PC or on a Mac. Go File > Open URL > key in the address. The address looks something like mms://220.127.116.11:8080/LiveStream. That's exactly what you created in the asx file.
- If you want to make your instruction easier for viewers, use an FTP client to send the asx file you created earlier to a Web Server. You can create a link on a Web page that points to the asx file. A viewer can click that link, and the video will automatically open in a Windows Media Player. The URL of the link looks something like http://www.informatics.iupui.edu/ehuang/LiveStream.asx.